Skorba Temples

Mġarr, Malta

The Skorba temples are megalithic remains which have provided detailed and informative insight into the earliest periods of Malta's neolithic culture. The site was only excavated in the early 1960s, rather late in comparison to other megalithic sites, some of which had been studied since the early 19th century. The site's importance has led to its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a listing it shares with six other megalithic temples in Malta.

The area around Skorba appears to have been inhabited very early in the Neolithic period. When the eminent Maltese historian Sir Temi Żammit excavated the nearby temples of Ta' Ħaġrat, only a single upright slab protruded from a small mound of debris on the Skorba site. Archeologists ignored this mound until David H. Trump excavated it between 1960 and 1963.

The remains on the site are a series of megalithic uprights (one of them 3.4m high), the lowest course of the temples' foundations, paving slabs with libation holes in the entrance passage, and the torba floor of a three-apse temple. This three-apse shape is typical of the Ġgantija phase. Unfortunately, the greater part of the first two apses and the whole of the façade have been razed to ground level.

The north wall is in a better state of preservation. Originally, the entrance of the temple opened on a court, but in later additions during the Tarxien phase, the temple's doorway was closed off, with altars set in the corners formed by the closure. East of this temple, a second monument was added in the Tarxien phase, with four apses and a central niche.

For a period of roughly twelve centuries before the temples were built, a village already stood on the site. Its oldest extant structure is the eleven metre long straight wall to the west of the temples’ first entrance. Deposits at its base contained material from the first known human occupation of the island, the Għar Dalam phase, including charcoal, which carbon analysis dated to 4850 BC.

The pottery found on the site is divided into two styles, the Grey Skorba phase distinguished by grey-colored pottery with no motifs, and the Red Skorba phase, which is exactly like the grey Skorba but colored using red ocher.

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Address

Triq L-Imqades, Mġarr, Malta
See all sites in Mġarr

Details

Founded: 4850-3600 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Malta

Rating

3.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kevin Gambin (20 months ago)
Megalithic remains north in Malta which have provided detail of the earliest periods of neolithic culture c4500BC
BOAC LHR (20 months ago)
Well worth a visit, along with Al the other historical sites.
Vyrenijus Andrijauskas (21 months ago)
Very small old stones temple. Must buy tickets in city if you want go inside. For me much more interested to see all small this town with very beautiful church.
Robin MacDonald (2 years ago)
Excellent site as the temples are around 5500 years old. Set back to the right of the entrance facing the temples is another excavation. I was told by archaeologists working on this small digging that what was uncovered were dwellings that predate the temples by around 1000 to 1500 years.
Jeremy Pullicino (2 years ago)
The historical value is great at this site. There is not much to see, however if you look up the history beforehand, you can appreciate what you are looking at. Parking is not too hard. There is also a small playground close by where the children can get rid of some energy. I recommend going in winter when it is not too hot since there is not much shade on the site.
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